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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

THE DISPERSION OF GREEK EDUCATION     55

initiated by Item the scribe, who in 444 B.C. put before the people
for their guidance the I,aw as it now appears in the five books of
Moses,

The central position which the written Law now took in the
life of the Jews was a fact of the greatest importance from the
educational point of view. The Jewish religion became for the
first time the religion of a Book. This meant that at the least
it wan necessary to have some people with a literary education
sufficient to enable them to read and understand the Hook; and
the need became greater in the century after Km when the Jews
gradually ceased to speak Hebrew and spoke Aramaic, a language
as diilerent from Hebrew as (uTiuan is from English. With the
Greeks, us we have wen, the possession of Homer at the corres-
ponding period of educational development had the ellect of
creating a general demand for education and calling schools into
being, The religious diameter of the Jewish Hook produced a
rather different oiled. Ultimately it led to popular education,
but. In the first instance* it only gave rise to an educated class
called the scribes, who made it their special task to reproduce the
text of the l*a\v and to interpret it for the people at lurgo* Ami
instead of the school, then: appeared (either in this period or
under Hellenic, inlluenees in the next) the synagogue. This
institution was perhaps inevitable in the special circumstances of
the Jews. According to the Levitieal haw promulgated by Kxra
Jehovah could only be worshipped it) the Temple, and only tlu*
priestly famiiie.s in the line of descent from Aaron could act as
intermediaries between Him and the people. Hence there cuuki
be no worship away from Jerusalem. Obviously, if the people in
other parts of the land had been left to themselves, they would
soon have lapsed into tin* heathen practices of their wiguhonrrt,
To prevent this, synagogues sprung up, tirsl in the main towns,
and later in all the villages. Prayers were recited in the yna-
gogut's, hut the main purpose of the services was not worship, but
instruction in the Law, The word applied to the exposition of
the LJIW in the synagogues throughout tin* New Testament itt
AifctfWwi "teaching," Jmw "taught" in the synagogues;
and HO tlitl Paul ami other apostles. The synagogue;* in thia way
became centres of education fur the people.

When the Persians were conquered by Alexander the Great,
the jcwa passed under (ireek control.   Hu for us religion